Top 5 Camping and Overlanding Water Storage Containers

Camping, Off-Roading, and Overlanding Water Storage Containers: How To Ensure You Bring Enough Water When Exploring the Great Outdoors

While we travel the great wild wonders of our forests and public lands, one thing that people often overlook is the need for water. This is where camping or overlanding water storage containers come into play.

In order to fulfill the need for water, there are a couple of things that we should consider; weight and transportation.  Many of us who camp or overland need to consider weight as it directly affects our fuel consumption. More weight equals greater fuel consumption, and with each gallon weighing almost 8.5 pounds, that can add up fast.  When out in the backcountry, gas stations are not available, so conserving what we can is paramount.

Freshwater is also not always available when we are in remote areas.  As a family of two humans, two Dobermans (read water camels), and a labradoodle, we require a substantial amount of water for cooking, drinking, and bathing on long trips.  In this article, I will be giving an overview of the top 5 overlanding water storage containers and what makes them unique.

Icon Lifesaver

LifeSaver Jerrycan and Portable Water Filter Product Overview & Initial Review

Features:

  • Capacity: 18.5 Liters
  • BPA & BPS Free
  • Separate filtering system with 5 activated carbon filters
  • Easy to use
  • Shower attachment

Price: $329.99

Find It Online:

First, on the list, we have the Icon Lifesaver jerry can. While this one is definitely on the pricier side, you will find that it is worth the investment. This can is versatile, as you can use it camping, overlanding, and even in your home for emergencies.  It boasts five activated carbon filters providing the ability to filter the water for not only chorine, taste, and smell, but microbes too. All of this ensures you’ll have safe water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.  There is also a shower attachment option available as well, adding to its versatility.

The filtering system makes it a great option to carry multiple cans, thus reducing weight, and preserving your gas mileage while still providing water when needed.  You can pull up to any water source, (river, lake, stream, etc.) fill it up, pump it up, and open the valve, removing the impurities as it flows.  With that, your camp has healthy water to use with just a few pumps.

FrontRunner Plastic Water Jerry Can

FrontRunner Jerry Can

Features:

  • Capacity: 20 Liters
  • BPA Free
  • Easy to use water tap
  • Standard mount compatibility with Nat0/Wedco style holders

Price: $66.95

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Next on the list is Frontrunner’s Plastic Water jerry can.  Many of us know Frontrunner products from their storage boxes and roof rack systems. This jerry can is well made and of BPA-free, food-grade polyethylene. It holds 20 liters (5.3 gallons) and comes with a plastic tap from which to access the water easily.  You can also upgrade the tap to a brass one for a few dollars more.

While Frontrunner also sells a jerry can holder for this, it will fit any Nato/Wedco style jerry can holder, so no need for buying a product-specific mount if you already own a standard mount.

Ironman 4×4 Roof Tank

Ironman 4x4 50L Water Tank

Features:

  • Capacity: 50 Liters
  • BPA Free, UC stabilized polyethylene
  • Flat mounted to conserve space
  • Optional water pump kit

Price: $129.99

Find It Online:

The Roof Tank is a uniquely styled water carrier.  Ironman 4×4’s 50L (13 gallons) roof rack style tank is perfect for mounting on your roof rack, or even the bed of a truck. This is not the standard bulky tank that comes to mind when you think of a water tank. Rather, it is flat, making it perfect for fitting in tighter spaces.

It has two holes in the middle of the tank for mounting, similar in style to the RotopaX mounting holes. A barbed fitting for access comes with it and is recessed to keep interference at a minimum. There is also an optional water pump.

While the company does not offer mounts for this specific tank, you could easily use long bolts with large fender washers and knob-style nuts to mount them to your rig. Ironman 4×4 also offers free shipping on this tank, and it comes with a 1-year iron-clad warranty. This flat-style water carrier is a great option compared to a traditional jerry can.

Scepter 5-gallon Jerry

Scepter 5-gallon Jerry

Features:

  • Capacity: 20 Liters
  • BPA Free
  • Impact-resistant design
  • Universal fit and mounting

Price: $67.99

Find It Online:

Scepter offers a 5-gallon jerry can, which is also BPA-free and food grade. This jerry can look very similar to the traditional military-style ones. It is impact resistant and designed to military specifications. This is what I would consider the minimalist’s option; it is as simple as they come. It is the no-frills option that gets the job done. Sometimes, less is more.

It features a screw top with a smaller opening inserted for easier pouring and fits the standard jerry can mount. If you plan to carry multiple cans, this is a great value option.

RotopaX 2-gallon Water Pack

Side View: Single RotopaX Storage Container on Gobi Ladder

Features:

  • Capacity: 7.5 Liters
  • EPA & CARB compliant
  • Easier portability
  • Better customization to suit your needs

Price: $54.95

Find It Online:

The 2-gallon Water Pack from RotopaX is the least expensive on this list. Their size, accessories, and ability to stack together make them a popular choice. RotopaX offers other variations for gas and diesel storage as well.

These require more proprietary methods of mounting for transport compared to jerry cans, typically in the form of a plate and pack mount. If you want to carry more than one, you can also get pack mount extensions.

Amazon also carries a different style mount for rear-mounted spare tires. This mount wraps around the tire, giving you an alternative method to mount your RotopaX.  The RotopaX mount extensions work with this as well.

Final Thoughts

4runner Accessories/Gear/Tools - HiLIft Jack

Well, there you have it, a quick overview of the top five Camping and Overlanding Water Storage Containers. One of these great options is bound to suit your water storage and conveyance needs.

I hope it helped shed some light on the importance and versatility of packing that ever-so-necessary of thirst quenchers.

Happy Trails!!

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4RunnerJonny
4RunnerJonny
5 months ago

Where’s the Waterport?

Dave Rich
Dave Rich
5 months ago

Does anyone have a link to add a spigot or shutoff to the Rotopax water pack? I hav one mounted to my rear hatch ladder.

90Duck
90Duck
5 months ago

Here is a source for the Scepter-style water containers at less than half the price. I’ve been using mine for overlanding and whitewater rafting for more than 10 years, and they even accept the pour spouts for Scepters since they are the same design. They are the real deal, genuine military issue, and are produced in a factory started by the Lions Club International to provide employment opportunities for blind people: https://www.buylci.com/water-can-5-gallon-olive-drab.html

Clayton Jones
Clayton Jones
5 months ago

We bought 2 of the Scepter cans and a spout to make pouring them easier and more controlled and they have proven to be very durable. They’re hard to beat for the price and leave room in the budget for a filter system for extended trips. I like the Platypus Gravity Works filter as the passive system allows you to tackle more tasks around camp and is relatively fast compared to other filters. The 8L capacity is a bonus also!

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